The practice used by most California counties to recoup a portion of juvenile justice system costs by charging youths’ families administrative fees for legal representation, detention, and probation undermine family stability and cause financial hardship. Youth in families with debt due to juvenile justice system fees have a greater likelihood of recidivism.
Although fee types and amounts vary by jurisdiction, 54 of California’s 58 counties currently charge families one or more juvenile administrative fees: 49 counties charge families for juvenile detention, 36 charge families for legal counsel, 28 charge families for electronic monitoring, 24 charge families for probation supervision . . .